Good luck can be like lightning: it zaps and strikes at random.
It all seems like it’s a chance occurrence that can’t be controlled; it doesn’t always have to be that way, however.
According to Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire and the bestselling author of Luck Factor, people are capable of changing their luck for the better.
“What the work shows as a whole is that people can change their luck. Luck is not something paranormal in nature. It’s something that we are creating by our thoughts and behavior.”
Richard actually ran a series of trials he called “Luck School”, which focused on teaching unlucky people to behave in a more lucky manner, and he managed to achieve some very positive results:
“In total, 80 percent of people who attended Luck School said that their luck had increased. On average, these people estimated that their luck had increased by more than 40 percent.”
So much like directing lighting with a lightning rod, good luck can be directed if you’ve developed the right habits and mindsets for it.
Getting good luck to strike is never something you can guarantee, however.
Much like how lightning can still be unpredictable, good luck will appear where it’s least expected.
To increase the chances of being struck by a bolt of fortune, try incorporating these 14 tips into your life to attract good luck.
1. Take Action
You can’t win the lottery without first buying a ticket.
Although luck may strike randomly, that doesn’t mean that you have to stand still and wait for it.
Taking action is the best way to increase your chances of good luck striking.
According to Luck Factor, lucky people just try stuff:
“Lucky people just try stuff. Unlucky people suffered from paralysis by analysis. They wouldn’t do anything until they walked through every single angle and by then the world had moved on.”
No matter how much you dream of making it big as a writer, without taking the first step to sharing your work with a public audience, no one will ever stumble upon and discover your works.
Likewise, you can’t earn on a large stock if you haven’t paid the money to buy shares.
2. Be Kind To Others
The gratitude or kindness that’s given to others is bound to be reciprocated, one time or another.
This is because once you’ve shown others kindness and generosity, they may be compelled to do the same for you.
It was Anne Frank that said, “No one has ever become poor from giving.”
Karma is one of the natural laws of the universe.
The key to having good karma is to not expect anything in return, as much as you want something good to happen.
According to Max Gunthe in Luck Factor, luck comes to those who help others:
“I believe good luck comes to people who are ready for it and will use it unselfishly, to help others. I don’t believe it often comes to the greedy. As a general rule, the greediest people I know are also the unluckiest.”
Have patience. Your actions will be rewarded so long as you do it for the sake of doing good, rather than to score highly on some cosmic karma test.
When you offer to listen to someone else’s problems, they’re more likely they’ll want to form relationships with you.
If the right people are attracted, career opportunities that might never have shown itself might start doing so.
3. Expand Your Coverage
Good luck won’t strike if you remain secluded in your part of the world. With the internet, your work could travel to every corner of the globe.
The prerequisite, of course, is to be willing to put yourself out there.
When you spread your coverage, more good luck lightning rods are created. It should follow that there’s a higher chance for good fortune to strike.
In one particular study, they asked a number of creative professionals what they do to increase their chances of a serendipitous encounter.
Most people answered that it’s best to vary their routine:
“They included things like varying their routine, working in different environments and with different people, mixing things up in the workplace, and just generally doing things differently to avoid getting stuck in the same routine.”
Every new person met has the chance to open a door of opportunity. Every new hobby or activity tried could bring the fortune of finding one’s true purpose.
4. Get Prepared
They say that serendipity is when preparation meets opportunity.
What might be your chance to find success in life could be squandered if you haven’t taken the time to prepare yourself.
A sudden promotion or hitting the jackpot could mean a larger failure if you aren’t at least adept at your job or if you haven’t learned how to manage your money properly.
When you focus on giving your best effort in your job and in your personal life, good luck no longer strikes as a form of salvation but a welcome bonus of good fortune.
According to Richard Wiseman, the author of Luck Factor:
“My research revealed that lucky people generate good fortune via four basic principles. They are skilled at creating and noticing chance opportunities, make lucky decisions by listening to their intuition, create self-fulfilling prophesies via positive expectations, and adopt a resilient attitude that transforms bad luck into good.”
5. Trust Your Gut
Have you ever looked back and wish you had followed your gut?
It happens to almost all of us at one point or another.
We all have an internal compass that guides us to where we truly might want to go — and it’s usually opposite to what a rational line of reasoning might conclude.
As we go through life, we constantly gather experiences that will strengthen our intuition, much like how reps and sets build muscle.
With more experiences we expose ourselves to, the better our intuition, the higher the chance that good luck and success will occur.
According to the book Luck Factor, most people who are lucky tend to trust their intuition:
“Almost 90 percent of lucky people said that they trusted their intuition when it came to personal relationships, and almost 80 percent said it played a vital role in their career choices… About 20 percent more lucky than unlucky people used their intuition when it came to making important financial decisions, and over 20 percent more used their intuition when thinking about their career choices.”
6. Visualize What Success Will Look Like
Athletes often practice this technique when they want to win their games.
They picture in their mind the moves that their opponents might pull on them and they imagine themselves responding to that well and, eventually, holding the championship trophy in their hand and winning it all.
When you’re feeling lost about what you want to do, you can try visualizing your end goal and working backwards from it.
If you want to raise your diploma to the sky at your graduation, first you’re going to need to get a certain grade to graduate.
If you want to get that certain grade, that means that you need these grades per course, and so on.
Working backward towards what you want to achieve makes your path to achieving it much clearer, giving you direction, and clarifies what good luck might look like to you.
7. Have A Daily Affirmation
In the movie In the Heights the main character wakes up in his modest home, still tired, slogging to get up. Despite the financial and relationship problems that he’s going through, he wakes up and always says to himself “Best days of my life”.
When you affirm to yourself that today is the best day of your life or that you are successful, you’re planting subconscious positive seeds. If you believe it, the mind will believe it too.
When you make an affirmation to yourself, make sure that it starts with “I” and uses the present tense, as in: “I am wealthy”, “I am gritty”, or “I am patient.”
8. Find The Opportunities In The Obstacles
Good luck might not always look like it.
It could mean searching for the good in all the things that happen — because there’s always bound to be something that can be beneficial.
A study, conducted by psychologist Richard Wiseman, suggested that an individual’s outlook on life drastically affected how lucky or unlucky they were in life.
Basically, individuals who are less negative about their lives are more likely to take their chances when opportunities present themselves.
Each event and experience in life naturally has a good and bad side to them.
When you actively look for positivity, your brain is going to engage itself to find it.
Our minds can’t help but close that open loop, so it searches for the silver lining: like the chance to remake your life after losing your job or practice to become a better writer after a rejected draft.
9. Have A Mindset Shift For Good Luck
Being realistic and optimistic at the same time is possible; the key is to simply manage expectations.
If you don’t expect much from something or someone, the more likely it that something will become a welcome surprise.
Setting too high of an expectation on the world could lead to disappointment and more pain than what could’ve been felt if nothing was expected at all.
Letting events play out and unfold on its natural course provides a more objective view, one that can spot good luck and opportunities much better.
What we’re really talking about here is adopting an attitude of realistic optimism.
According to senior coach executive, Andrzej Smiech, realistic optimism is:
“Realistic optimism is the ability to balance out negative and positive things in situations, circumstances and people. It is the courage to explore opportunities, where others are blocked by risk and failure, with the belief that the future will be better than the past.”
10. Use A Lucky Charm
Some people brush off lucky charms as being ineffective and useless. “There’s nothing special about a ‘lucky shirt’ — it’s just a shirt!” they say.
But, on the contrary, they do have an effect.
In the book, the Courage Quotient: How Science Can Make You Braver, psychologist Robert Biswas-Diener says that lucky objects boosted people’s self-confidence and ability to solve problems:
“The researchers found that by activating good luck beliefs, these objects were consistently able to boost people’s self-confidence and that this up-tick in self-assurance in turn affected a wide range of performance. Lucky thinking, it turned out in this study, positively affected people’s ability to solve puzzles and to remember the pictures depicted on thirty-six different cards, and it improved their putting performance in golf! In fact, people with a lucky charm performed significantly better than did the people who had none.”
When someone has with them their lucky charm — a lucky shirt, underwear, pencil, necklace — they feel safe and secure.
The future seems less daunting because they know that, with the help of their lucky objects, they’ll remain prosperous and fortunate.
This lucky-charm-backed confidence in the future becomes self-fulfilling.
Their confidence that they will come out of a serious meeting or talk alright will make them resilient and, consequently, give them the boost in performance that they need to come out alright.
11. Take The Leap
It was Eleanor Roosevelt that said, “Do one thing every day that scares you
It’s better to make a decision and move on than wait till you’re 100% ready to take the jump.
The fact is that you’ll never be 100% in time to make the jump worthwhile.
Once you think that you’re finally prepared to take on a large project, it might finally be too late.
In his book Luck Factor, Richard Wiseman wrote:
“Lucky people just try stuff. Unlucky people suffered from paralysis by analysis. They wouldn’t do anything until they walked through every single angle and by then the world had moved on. They don’t gain the benefits of learning through doing. I’m a big fan of starting small, trying lots of projects, seeing what works and what doesn’t, and iterating based on feedback.”
Acting in the face of uncertainty, especially when we don’t feel like we’re ready for it, can be scary — but behind those things that you’re scared of could be one of the more significant moments of your life.
If you believe in yourself, you’re more likely to find good luck along the way.
12. Practice Meditating
When you become mindful of situations, negative feelings that might be gnawing at your heart and mind are cleared like dark clouds clearing the sky.
Seeing the situation in an objective manner helps identify good opportunities and solutions to your problems.
Meditation is the easiest form of mindfulness practice. Concentrating on the breath and letting thoughts pass has been found to increase comfort, relaxation, and alertness.
13. Appreciate What You Already Have
What we want to happen can obscure the fortunes we’ve already experienced in life, such as the ability to see and read this article, or access to an infinite amount of knowledge thanks to having an internet connection.
Remembering to be grateful for what we already have could show that, in some ways, we’ve already experienced good luck.
The Harvard Health Blog says that “gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness.”
“Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
14. Have Patience
Good luck takes time to work into your life.
Much like how lightning strikes at random, we can never be sure when or where it will strike.
The best that can be done while waiting is being persistent in the daily work. If you take things a day at a time, you’re bound to stumble on good fortune eventually.
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